For Release — Tuesday, January 7, 2003
COUNCIL ASKS NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
SEEK INJUNCTION AGAINST SO-CALLED 'LABOR NEUTRALITY LAW'
ALBANYThe Business Council has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to seek an injunction preventing New York State from implementing its controversial "labor neutrality law."
The NLRB should seek an injunction declaring the law invalid because the law is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said in a Dec. 31 letter to Arthur F. Rosenfeld, general counsel of the NLRB. The NLRB oversees federal labor law and has the authority to enjoin enforcement of state laws on the ground that the field of labor relations is pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act.
The letter also applauded the NLRB for beginning an inquiry into the law through an Oct. 30 letter from Margery E. Lieber, an NLRB attorney, to state Labor Commissioner Linda Angello. Her letter said "it appears that the labor neutrality law will effectively regulate conduct that is intended by Congress to be free from governmental interference."
"From the time this legislation was first proposed in New York State, we said the legislation is neutral in its name only," Walsh wrote. "Its provisions create substantial major intimidation leverage for organized labor in its efforts to organize workforces."
The letter noted that organized labor has asked state legislatures for such laws in California, New Jersey, and New York in an effort to "seek advantages Congress specifically intended to prevent in the National Labor Relations Act, and administrative interpretations historically made in creating a fair system for employee and employer decisions on workplace representations."
"The 'laboratory atmosphere' of union organizing campaigns so arduously created and steadfastly protected by your agency and the law under which it operates is doomed, if states are allowed to adopt legislation" like the labor neutrality law, the letter concluded.